This video has timestamped descriptions to allow viewers to jump to particular topics and sections. Links will open the video in YouTube.
Who are you, and how are you involved with this project? 00:28
What kind of self-managed project is El Arenero? 01:06
What is El Arenero’s legal status? 05:53
What age of children is the project designed for? 08:15
How do families participate? 09:08
How does this community make decisions? 12:46
To what extent did 15M help jump start this Project? 17:40
Are we witnessing a burgeoning political project? 21:30
Has this experience redefined the way you understand your work? 26:28
What happens in the community when children turn four? 28:13
What type of people participate in the project? 29:20
What impact has the project had in this neighborhood? 31:36
How do you work with children? 37:45
How has your experience been as a mother in El Arenero? 39:02
Could you talk about how you perceive the current education model? 42:10
How do you keep hope and activism alive in moments of political disaffection? 44:42
What would it mean for El Arenero to grow in non-capitalist terms? 48:38
We believe that if there are not the necessary resources for something as important as taking care of our children, why not create something that helps us take care of them, in the manner we see fit? This project has been growing over the span of a 4-year-long journey, but since the beginning one of its pillars has been that families participate very actively in the process. El Arenero is a space not only for the children, but for whole families. A network is created that goes beyond the space and its business hours. This network is important because it allows us to share– for example, we share how we manage the tantrums that start at age two, we give each other tips and advice, we help and console each other when we think we are failing as mothers and fathers. As a result, we learn that getting overwhelmed happens to everyone.
This is a space that transcends its four walls– it has created very strong bonds that still remain even for families that left the school two or three years ago. Another thing that has supported this active participation is that the food we consume is produced sustainably. Not only is it healthy for the children and adults, it’s healthy for the environment at a global level, as it is produced locally, without participating in industrial agriculture relying on fossil fuels. It’s only a small effort at changing a destructive food system, but what we have observed is that there were families that did not eat sustainable food before who have since adopted sustainable food practices. And they have not done this as just a personal health choice, but out of a sense of connectedness with the planet and the rest of the food chain. These are deeply political themes that we have been able to put into practice in this shared space, but doing so has also made us rethink our individual homes. All of this is a way of fighting against individualism and coming together to collectively create something, harnessing our imagination and the hope that we can create new possibilities.